Fort Hood Probe Gets Silent Treatment
by: Peter Granitz, January 20, 2010 9:01:00 pm
Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered an independent review of the shootings. Today's hearing was the first to report on it. From the outset, the panel was warned it needed to be careful not to jeopardize the ongoing legal case against Major Nidal Hasan.
That prevented both former Veterans' Secretary Togo West and former Chief of Naval Operations Vern Clark from sharing detailed information.
The committee's top republican, Buck McKeon of California, asked the panel whether anyone in the military knew of Hasan's radicalization before the shooting.
West answered within his limits, saying some signs were missed and others were ignored. He did not say what was overlooked, but indicated policies may have prevented Hasan's superiors from knowing his intent.
"If there's been alcohol or drug use and there's been a rehabilitation program, that information is not forwarded in the file. It's no longer in there after that's done. And there are other kinds of information of which we have policies that specifically exclude keeping them and making them available in the file as it goes forward. We recommend that that be looked at."
McKeon pressed to know that "radicalization" was behavior that would be flagged in a soldier's file. The panel said it was. More hearings on the shooting will certainly take place in the future.